Wired: State Bill to Limit RFIDThe bill that just left committee also would outlaw skimming -- which occurs when an unauthorized person with an electronic reading device surreptitiously reads the electronic information on an RFID chip without the knowledge of the person carrying or wearing the chip.
Photo Credit: intuitives
The bill does allow for a number of exceptions for the use of RFID, such as devices used for paying bridge and road tolls, ID badges used for inmates housed in prisons or mental health facilities, or ID bracelets and badges used for children under the age of four who are in the care of a government-operated medical facility.
The bill allows agencies to obtain additional exceptions to the ban if they can prove to the legislature that there is a compelling state interest. More...
Friday, April 29, 2005
Thursday, April 28, 2005
"Staff members on the committee [vetting Bolton] believe that Bolton was spying on Powell, his senior advisers and other officials reporting to him on diplomatic initiatives that Bolton opposed." Blumenthal continues that "it is also possible that Bolton was sharing this top-secret information with his neoconservative allies within the Pentagon and the vice-president's office, with whom he was in daily contact and who were known to be working in league against Powell." read more ...The committee has demanded that the State Department release the intercepts to members of the committee. But Secretary Rice has refused the committee's requests.
On a related issue a letter co-signed by Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Richard Lugar and Ranking Member Joseph Biden requesting that the 10 NSA intercept transcripts requested by John Bolton during his tenure as Under Secretary of State be made available to Senators and cleared senior Committee staff.
The good soldier's revenge
Colin Powell as Enemy of the State
Lugar and Biden Unite on NSA Transcripts Request
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Photo Credit: escargotte
I've been sort of following the progress of various Soldier for hire groups for some time. Thinking that this trend of Corporate War, was a trend back to the Private armies of state, like the West India Company of the 16th - 17th Century. But this article on Defense Tech has place them in a whole new light for me. Namely that in this new warfare that counts on these new companies so heavily to support US military forces, both logistically and with trigger pullers. They are extremely vulnerable to being crippled by having their CEO's kidnapped or killed. Unlike the military that has chains of command to deal with their head officers being compromised in this way. What are the rules for Corporations operating in these theaters?
The CEO as an Objective of War
CEO kidnapping isn't new. It is common practice in Brazil, Mexico, etc. The difference in Iraq is the motive. In Iraq, it isn't purely financial gain. It is being used as a way to unravel the fledgling Iraqi government..... Read more from Global Guerrillas blog
And the example given by Defense Tech.
That's because the CEO is so central -- too central, in fact -- to his company's success. It makes him "a single point of failure for the entire corporate organism," Robb says. With companies so important these days to the American war effort, this centrality makes CEOs "better targets than government or military officials."
Defence Tech: BUSINESS = WAR, BUT NOT "WWIV"
Global Guerrillas: PIERCING THE CORPORATE VEIL
Photo Credit: veralu
Following criticism from computer security professionals and civil libertarians about the privacy risks posed by new RFID passports the government plans to begin issuing, a State Department official said his office is reconsidering a privacy solution it rejected earlier that would help protect passport holders' data.
The solution would require an RFID reader to provide a key or password before it could read data embedded on an RFID passport's chip. It would also encrypt data as it's transmitted from the chip to a reader so that no one could read the data if they intercepted it in transit. More...
New Podcast Reveals Mysteries of ShakespeareThe Shakespeare By Another Name Podcasts can be found at the website by the same name. It looks as if he'll be giving excepts twice a month from now through August.
A new podcast promises to reveal the mysteries of Shakespeare. The podcast feature excerpts from author Mark Anderson's new book "Shakespeare" by Another Name, which examines the puzzles that have long haunted the identity of history’s greatest author....
Monday, April 25, 2005
Photo Credit: mikekorn
Wired Article: Florida Planning Son of Matrix
Friday, April 22, 2005
Thursday, April 21, 2005
The Coming Culture War Over Gay TV: two facts together:
1) The FCC is coming under pressure to regulate cable TV for decency. President Bush at least temporarily seemed to endorse the idea and the new chairman of the FCC seems to be heading in that direction.
2) Viacom plans to launch Logo, a gay-oriented basic cable channel at the end of June
This combined with stories on the future of the Filibuster are showing these people, for what short sightedness we have in government today. These politicians wish to control large aspects of our life. From morality (the bible is now part of the curriculum in 300 school districts nationwide treated as literature), low paying jobs so that business gets cheap labor and large tax breaks, to our freedom of speech being taken away. These remind me of a quote from Cicero (c. 106-43 B.C.)
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist.
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Sunday, April 17, 2005
This set off some warning bells in my head. Isn't this what happened to some airplanes coming in for landingsaround the country?( See: Man Indicted In Airplane Laser Incident) And while they accert that it is not harmful.Lasers To Signal Airspace Breaches
Photo Credit: junious
The U.S. military will begin using an elaborate network of cameras and lasers next month to scan the sky over Washington and flash colored warning beams at aircraft that enter the nation's most restricted metropolitan airspace.
About a dozen high-powered cameras at unidentified locations will be able to zoom in on an airplane anywhere in the restricted airspace, which covers a 30 mile radius around each of the Washington area's three major airports. Red and green laser beams attached to the cameras will then warn the aircraft to leave the area.
I don't think that this "Safe low level laser" is all that it'll do. It would be easy to have it on a gradated power scale, so if the pilot didn't respond to the warning flashes then they would simply up the power and do damage to the flight crew or the aircraft. thus neutralizing the threat.Unlike pointers more...
Photo Credit: wellerpics
Thursday, April 14, 2005
Photo Credit: parker62
Why Use Remotely-Readable Passports?
In the Q&A session, I asked Mr. Moss directly why the decision was made to use a remotely readable chip rather than one that can only be read by physical contact. Technically, this decision is nearly indefensible, unless one wants to be able to read passports without notifying their owners -- which, officially at least, is not a goal of the U.S. government's program. Mr. Moss gave a pretty weak answer, which amounted to an assertion that it would have been too difficult to agree on a standard for contact-based reading of passports. This wasn't very convincing, since the smart-card standard could be applied to passports nearly as-is -- the only change necessary would be to specify exactly where on the passport the smart-card contacts would be. The standardization and security problems associated with contactless cards seem to be much more serious. Read More....
The Nation has an interesting timeline of Delay responding to questions and his one size fits all response of, "it's the Liberal Media and Democrats."
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
Photo Credit: webed
Destroying the ‘Cannon Fodder’ Myth
The debate over reemploying a military draft in this country will continue as long as the combat services report recruiting shortfalls and manpower shortages, particularly in the Army and Marine Corps.
But one particular debate tactic we witnessed last year – that a draft is preferable to the all-volunteer military because minorities and low-income Americans have suffered the brunt of casualties since 9/11 – has been thoroughly and properly discredited once and for all. More...
Monday, April 11, 2005
Buzztracker for 4-12-2005
As I have stated before, I feel that the draft is going to be reinstated before the end of this year. Due to shortfalls in man power in the Military as people begin to leave the National Guard and Reserves. If that is the case more people have to discuss what this will mean, in order to have a fair distribution of the population represented. While I don't agree with everything in this article I feel it is important that some are discussing it.
An Alternative to the Draft
“Instead of a lottery, the federal government would impose a requirement that no four-year college or university be allowed to accept a student, male or female, unless and until that student had completed a 12-month to two-year term of service. Unlike an old-fashioned draft, this 21st-century service requirement would provide a vital element of personal choice.” more...
Photo Credit: eyecrave
Lists of reasons for human spaceflight are readily available. The National Space Society has a detailed list, and SPACE.com has its Top 3 and Top 10. Nonetheless, there is a need for a concise list that can be easily recalled—perhaps something like this:
Humans are in space:
3. To work
2. To live
1. To survive
Sunday, April 10, 2005
Saturday, April 09, 2005
Photo Credit: Resseguie
Friday, April 08, 2005
Photo credit: murdog
The reason RFID is more controversial than, say, a bar code is that the data on the chip is read by a remote reader. The State Department asserts that the tags it will use can be read from only 4 inches away. But privacy advocates say there's no way the State Department can guarantee that . from RFID PASSPORT: "SHOOT ME!"RFID PASSPORT: "SHOOT ME!" from Defense Tech and Passport to pry from Salon.com are articles I feel are both worth taking a look at.
Thursday, April 07, 2005
Al-Ahram Weekly, 24 – 30 March 05, by Mustafa El-Labbad
The limits of ideology
'The world has witnessed innumerable political assassinations but few have had earthshaking consequences. Of those that have, perhaps the most notorious was the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria in 1914, which triggered WW I and the reshaping of the entire map of Europe. Last month's assassination of former Lebanese prime minister Rafiq Al-Hariri may prove as momentous. The repercussions of this tragic act have reverberated beyond Syria, precipitating a major upheaval in the regional balance of power.
NYT article: File-Sharing Is the Latest Battleground in the Clash of Technology and Copyright
I love this quote:
As a Slashdot reader comments on the news:Update 4-8-2005: link to commented 14 points of FascismGet with the newspeak, bub. Today's new improved doubleplusgood American conservatives are for smaller government in the form of increased federal spending, more privacy in the form of total surveillance, state's rights in the form of Congressional meddling in individual state court cases, isolationist foreign policy in the form of overseas force projection, government transparency in the form of increased classification of documents, and high moral standards in the form of flagrant House ethics rule violations.
Wednesday, April 06, 2005
It looks like the New York Times is running in conjunction with blogrunner a new site called The Annotated New York Times. According to Lifehacker they are tracking comments in the blogosphere and correlating them with Authors and articles from the New York Times.
Photo Credit: pcst
Also these huge crowds flocking to Rome for this funeral. It is amazing that now they have stopped people from adding to the viewing precession, and that it'll take the next 24 hours for them to finish the line. Even his burial is somewhat in question. I have heard but cannot find a written story that the Poles have asked for the Popes heart to be buried in Kraków, Poland. Apparently there is precedent for catholics to divide up a body for separate enshrining. We'll just have to wait and see if the Vatican will respond to this request.
Update: Link from Comments: Pope's heart could go to Poland
Monday, April 04, 2005
Being curious, I looked it up on the web and learned that it is within the right, if the President wishes under US Code to do this.
- United States Code
- TITLE 4 - FLAG AND SEAL, SEAT OF GOVERNMENT, AND THE STATES
(m) ...By order of the President, the flag shall be flown at half-staff upon the death of principal figures of the United States Government and the Governor of a State, territory, or possession, as a mark of respect to their memory. In the event of the death of other officials or foreign dignitaries, the flag is to be displayed at half-staff according to Presidential instructions or orders, or in accordance with recognized customs or practices not inconsistent with law....
But it still bugs me.
Friday, April 01, 2005
His finger for his car
By Leslie Andres, The New Straits Times Malaysia
There is a team of carjackers on the prowl in Subang Jaya and what they did to accountant K. Kumaran on Monday shows how ruthless they can be. They chopped off part of his left index finger when they realised that his S-Class Mercedes Benz had a security feature which would immobilise the car without his fingerprint....
Future Tense Story